Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Want To Start A Social Skills Group?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

There are several resources on Michelle Garcia Winner's website, so click here to be taken there. I am following bits and pieces of her programs, along with tailoring the group to the needs of these particular students. 

This year, I decided to hold a lunchtime social skills group (sometimes called a "lunch bunch") for a couple of my 5th graders who need some social skill training. While I haven't done this before (for various reasons), I thought I would get my feet wet this year and see how it goes. Benefits are two-fold: the students get to work on social skills and they don't miss academic time because it's during lunch.

First, I touched base with the parents to let them know a little bit about the group and what it would entail. 

Second, I went to let the students know what day they would be joining be for lunch. They were excited, which was great.

Third, I decided to start with Michelle Garcia Winner's You Are A Social Detective. These particular students have pretty good language skills, but sometimes struggle with the social aspect of the classroom. I printed a simple outline of a brain and we wrote down what kinds of "smarts" we have. I didn't spend too much on this concept, as they seemed to catch on quickly.  

We then talked about the "think vs. say" concept. They could provide examples of times when we should think things vs. times when we can say things. We spent a whole session on this concept. I provided the topic, like "birthday party" and we made a list of things you should think and things you should say. 

It depends on your group, but we then moved onto the Superflex book because they picked up on concepts quickly. They LOVE the superhero aspect of Superflex. I'm picking and choosing some lessons from this book based on what I feel they need to work on. The big themes for this group are: think vs. say, understanding body language, and discussing a non-preferred topic. 

These tools are great way to start up a social skills group! Try it out!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Peek At My Week 9/28

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience. 

Week #5! It's almost October. I have a few fun things planned for the month of October. Check the blog on October 1st to see something new I'm trying!

My goal to plan by the month is still going pretty well. I have to really sit down and plan for the rest of October, but this coming week is set. At the end of the month, I always need to go back and make sure I've hit or attempted to hit IEP goal times and such. Lately, I've also had a lot of testing and reports to complete (got three done on Friday night). It's a lot for the brain to wrap itself around!

Preschool: All districts vary, but we see preschool students for artic only. While I try to work in language concepts as I can, it is not the focus of therapy sessions. Sometimes finding engaging activities that will still get lots of trials can be a challenge! Lately, my preschoolers have loved Cariboo and this pirate ship I picked up on clearance at Target. Note - I put batteries in it, because there are sound effects. I might be taking them out though because it can be distracting. There are little cannons that can shoot out. I will drill and then give them the cannons to shoot. Hasn't lost its charm yet!

I also frequently use Super Duper's Giant Book of Phonology cards!

Autism: I'm doing the same things from last week, as I like to do the same thing for at least a couple weeks so they have time to grasp the vocabulary/concepts. They liked the fall vocabulary. I programmed the vocabulary onto one student's iPad, so we could work on matching the label with the picture and do various other things with that. We did a matching game, which was great for expanding utterance length using carrier phrases.

K-5: I'm using the Apples section of S.A.L.L. for ALL: Fall (click picture) for tons of my kids. 

Younger ones are doing the associations, sentences, and following directions. Older ones are using the apple types and apples in the bucket activities. All are using the stories since there are 2 levels of the stories. I'll work in the included craft as I can. I'll probably use pieces of this for next week too!

Other things I'm using this week:

Articulations Menus from Speechy Musings

Fire Safety "What Ifs" (free) from Elementary Matters:

Since I'm doing a lot of testing lately, I'm also using my Informal Language Assessment (click the picture)! It's been really easy to collect some language data on my kids who are a little harder to test!

That's a wrap for this week! See you next week!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wipe Out Artic & Has/Have: Therapy Ideas

Popping in to share a couple therapy gems that worked well for me this week!

First, I hope you have one of these:

And by "these" - I really just mean the magnetic barrier for the barrier games from Super Duper. I bought it way back when Super Duper was still holding their 50% off weekly sales (really wish they'd bring that back) and it continues to be one of my best purchases to date. I use it for tons of things, not just barrier games. 

Idea #1: Earlier this week, I shared this picture on my Facebook page. It's how I worked on has/have with one student. I had little magnets from something else and it was fun to stick them on and then tell who had what. Obviously, I am a very good artist...just kidding!

Idea #2: Wipe Out Artic: This "game" would be appropriate for kids who have nearly mastered the word level of any sound. It worked with a first grader, I just read the words and had her repeat them as quickly as she could.

I wrote a bunch of words on one side of the board. I had a timer and an eraser on hand. I told the student we were going to see how fast she could get "wipe out" all the words. I set the timer and off we went. In order for me to erase a word, she had to articulate it correctly. If she didn't, I moved on to the next word without erasing it. We went through the list until all the words were gone. I wrote another set of words on the board and we did it again and she tried to beat her time.

That's it for now! Hope you're enjoying your Saturday so far!

Friday, September 26, 2014

{Review + Giveaway}: Let's Learn Emotions App

Disclaimer: A copy of this app was provided; however, the opinions expressed are solely my own.

It's time for another app review! This time, I'm reviewing Let's Learn Emotions from Everyday Speech. Plus, you have a chance to win a copy, so read through. 

Below is the screen you see when you open the app. There are 4 different activities: Matching, Discussion, Flashcards, and Manage Emotions. There are 15 emotions included; however, you can easily add your own. 

In the matching, discussion and flashcard activity, you first are taken to a screen where you can choose which emotions to work on. I love this feature!

This is what the matching game looks like: 

Below are some of the cards from the discussion game. You are presented with two cards. The one of the left gives a discussion question, while the card on the right gives the emotion. The group that I tried this with had a good time acting out the emotions. 

If you click the emotion card, it provides a picture of the emotion. 

Below is a picture of what the flashcard practice looks like. You are presented with flashcards and the student needs to name the emotion. What's great about this is that you can add your own and practice those as well within this activity. 

The last activity is "manage emotions." This is where you can add your own. I had my students draw pictures of particular emotions and then we talked about what our eyes, mouth, and body would do if we were feeling a particular emotion. Then I snapped a picture and it added it to the app! 

What I Liked:
-ability to add your own emotions
-discussion game really made it helpful for kids with more language abilities to act things out
-this would work well for kids at varying levels
-ability to choose which emotions to target

What I Would Love To See:
-more advanced emotions added

Overall, this app seems different from some of the other emotions apps I've tried. I like that it can work from a very basic level up to a more advanced level. I especially love the ability to add your own emotions! 

Enter below to for a chance to win a copy of these app! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Speech Room Staples Linky Party

Shannon at Speechy Musings is hosting her first linky party! The topic is TpT Products You NEED in Your Speech Room.

These are some of my most used materials from other sellers:

1. Natalie Snyders's Grammar Progress Monitoring Tool: All her progress monitoring tools are awesome!

2. CVC Words Ice Cream Scoops from Expressly Speaking: I have a bunch of preschoolers on my caseload working on FCD, so these are a fun way to do that. They love ice cream!

3. Reader's Theater from Denise Polley: The kids LOVED performing the plays and have asked me to do so again. 

4. Cariboo Cards for Early Sounds from Kathy Grover: It's for Cariboo, people!! Kids and SLPs alike love this game! Again, I have lots of preschoolers working on early developing sounds!

From my store, you might be interested in my WH Questions with Visual Choices. These are perfect for those kids who are need visual choices to answer WH questions.

If you're like me and love the My PlayHome app, then you'll love my app companion pack! It has tons of ideas to target language skills right at your fingertips, so you don't have to come up with them off the top of your head! There's also a My PlayHome Stores companion as well. 

Thanks to Shannon for hosting this fun linky party!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gratitude Challenge - SLP Style!

Have you seen Gratitude Challenges popping up on your Facebook newsfeed (next to the ice bucket challenge videos)? I have! I've seen different versions, but I believe this is the original website --> http://www.gratitudechallenge.com.

This challenge proposes that you describe something you're grateful for for 21 days. I'm altering it a little to make it fit the lives of busy SLPs. Below I'm naming 21 things that I'm grateful for:

1. My family: they are my anchor :)
2. My friends: they keep me sane :)
3. Having a job that I enjoy: maybe not every single aspect, but I love doing therapy!
4. This blog: since I started this adventure almost 2 years ago, it's been a creative outlet.
5. TpT: I make a lot of materials for my caseload anyway, so I love that I can help other SLPs out by sharing. Plus it has helped me begin to make a tiny dent in student loans.
6. Baking/cooking: this is something I love to do when I have time.
7. Reading: I loved to read as a kid and I still love to read!
8. Exercise: I like to run. I'm grateful that I'm able to be active.
9. Reality TV: sometimes, it's necessary to just have something to laugh at
10. Online SLP community: I've "met" such great sources of inspiration online! 
11. Being happy: not all day, every day, but 95% of the time I really think I am!
12. Reeses Pieces: because sometimes a girl's gotta eat chocolate + peanut butter
13. Gummy bears: because sometimes a girl wants something gummy
14. Grandparents: I'm lucky to have had great ones in my life
15. Phone: I don't live near my family, so I need a phone to stay in touch
16. Looking at the ocean: I don't get to do this nearly as often as I'd like, but I love it when I do!
17. Confidence: Since leaving college, I think I've become a bit more confident in my abilities 
18. Motivation to keep learning: while I may not be motivated 100% of the time, I like to learn new things!
19. Music: helps me unwind, keep running, etc.
20. My health: aside from a few aches and pains, I'm in good health
21. YOU!!! People like you who read my posts!

So now I must ask: fellow SLPs, what are YOU grateful for?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peek At My Week 9/21

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience!

Week #4! I'm sure I'll stop numbering the weeks at some point, but right now it's a small success to make it through another week.

Plans for this week:

K-2 crowd: We're reading The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston. It's a cute story about a scarecrow who makes friends the with animals that are scared of him at first. I found a cute free black and white clipart scarecrow from Mrs. Heather on TpT, so I printed a page size version for the kids to color. We will read the story, answer WH questions, find words with our sounds, retell the story, etc.


3rd-5th crowd: I plan to use parts of Super Power Speech's Fall Into Language Level 3. I think I'll be using this for this week and next because it's full of so many different activities. Lots of my kids are working on expanding their sentences, story retell/comprehension, etc. I am also waiting for the color ink that I ordered to come so I can print off my S.A.L.L. for ALL: FALL packet and get it laminated!

Preschool crowd: I picked up a Diggity Dog game the last time I was at the thrift store, so I plan to use this game as a reinforcer while we work on our target sounds.

Autism: I'm focusing on fall vocabulary this month and next month. I generally use the same materials for at least a couple weeks with these students. Some of the things I'm using include:

This freebie from Amanda Butt to work on bigger/smaller concepts plus vocabulary (click the pictures to be taken to the activity):

This freebie from creative classroom lessons for fall vocabulary: 

This freebie from thedabblingspeechie to work on prepositions in a functional manner:

Plus, I'll be using parts of my S.A.L.L packet (as soon as that ink comes)!

Hope this helps you out a little!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

S.A.L.L. for ALL: Fall [giveaway]

Did you see it? The latest thing to hit my store? I'm quite excited about it because I'm hoping it'll make planning much easier for fall. Perhaps another season might follow if people are interested!

It's 110+ pages FULL of fall themed material that is broken down by 4 themes: apples, pumpkins, leaves, and football. Did I mention it's CCSS aligned? There are activities that should work with K-5th grade students. Individual activities within each theme vary; however, in each theme there are nonfiction passages, 2 stories (one for K-2, one for 3rd-5th), and open-ended articulation activity, and a simple craft activity. 

The following CCSS are targeted in this packet:
K.L 1b. Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs
K.L 5c. Identify real life connections between words and their use
1.SL 6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation
K.L 1f. Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities
1.RL 1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text
1.L 4a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase
K.SL 6. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly
2.L 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words and phrases
K.L 5a. Sort common objects into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent
2.3.L 1b. Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns
1.RL 9. Compare and contrast the adventure and experiences of characters of character in stories
K.L 1e. Use the most frequently occurring prepositions
3.L 5a. Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases 
K.L 5b. Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites
K.L 5d. Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action by acting out the meanings
2.3.L 1d. Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs

You can see all the different activities in the TpT listing and by downloading the preview. Here are a couple more pictures to give you more of an idea:

This is an idiom matching game, you can also choose to play without the answer choices:

These helmets are for comparing/contrasting:

These leaves are for irregular plurals:

Roll a die and cross off an antonym (synonym page also included):

You can win a copy by entering below:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Speachy Feedback September 2014

My favorite reason to look forward to a Monday! Speachy Feedback Linky time!

Here is my winner for this month:

Thanks Julianne for leaving great feedback! Email me at teachspeech365@gmail.com with your choice of product (no bundles)!

If you're interested in checking out Speech & Language Zoo, head here!

Make sure to check Nicole's original post to see if you won from any other SLP bloggers!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Peek At My Week: 9/14

Tomorrow begins week #3! This past week, I had fun using My Speech-O-Graphy and getting to know what my students did over the summer. It was also a great way to remind students of their speech goals!

Again, I'm trying to plan by the month instead of by the week. Mainly to keep my sanity. I plan general activities and then tweak as necessary. So here's a peek at my upcoming week:

I may be sneaking in a little pirate fun here and there, since I forgot September 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Whoops. A quick Pinterest search didn't fail, and I found this fun free bingo board from Our Home Creations that I can adapt and use with any goal. Click here to be taken to that post and make sure you thank Natalie for the freebie! 

For my K-2 crowd, I'll be using Carl's Crazy Day, which is a No Print Speech Therapy (NPST) activity in my store. It is like a "choose your own adventure" story, with built in options that students can choose throughout the original story. The packet also comes with a separate printable file with worksheets for followup. Download the story onto your iPad using the Adobe app or iBooks and touch the choices! Click the picture below to check it out!
For my artic kids, we'll be looking for words that contain their sounds. My language kids will be answering WH questions, retelling the story, and working on the vocabulary in the story. 

For the 3rd-5th grade crowd, we'll be trying out Denise's (Speech Language Pirates) Reader's Theater. Click below to be taken to this product description:

There are 3 plays included, so I can use one now and save the other 2 for later! I love that it will hit a ton of goals and I don't have to worry about having multiple different activities. 

Enjoy your week! Hope you got some good ideas to make your life easier!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Clinical Skills Confidence: Sharing Results At Meetings

I'm not one of the people that really enjoys public speaking. In fact, in high school, I pretty much did anything to avoid it. Then in college, we needed to do presentations. I got more used to it and sometimes (gasp) even sort of enjoyed it! Still, when I know I have to speak in front of people, I get nervous. Those butterflies can dance a mighty jig! 

I'm not sure that grad school really prepared me for sitting in IEP or eligibility meetings. Especially the part where I need to share results. Here are my tips for coasting through it without breaking (too much of) a sweat. 

1. Print and highlight: I print a copy of the result and highlight key points that I want to mention. It makes it easy to relay the important information and not look all over the place for it.

2. Rate: I tend to speak very quickly, so I make a conscious effort before I start talking to remind myself to SLOW DOWN.

3. Pause and ask: After I relay a couple pieces of information, I always try to stop and ask if there are questions. Sometimes it can be a lot for parents to take in and they might have questions right then. I find it easier to address throughout my "speech," rather than at the end. 

4. Offer your contact information: Often parents will think of questions later on, so I always give them my contact information. 

I hope that gives you some ideas and some peace of mind about sharing results! It does get easier!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Peek At My Week 9/7

This year, I'm trying something new with Peek At My Week and posting at the beginning of the week to hopefully help you get a head start on planning. I'm also attempting to plan by the month, versus planning by the week, using the spreadsheet that I made below: 

This is the first full week, so it's the first time I'm officially seeing kids for therapy and trying out my schedule (that I've only had to change 9548438 times so far). 

This week is all about reconnecting with my students, gathering some baseline data, and getting to know any new students. 

You can never go wrong with Pop Up Pirate, so that's making an appearance with the younger kids. I can get some great baseline artic or language data in between coaxing that lovable pirate out of the barrel. 

I'm also using My Speech-o-graphy (click below) to talk about the summer and gather some baseline data. 

I'll also be using S.L.A.M. because it has tons of stimuli and is quick to grab. 

Also, I'll probably be pulling out Natalie Snyders' Progress Monitoring Tools. I currently own the Grammar one and the Upper Level Language one. 

What are your plans?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Adapt Your Zingo Game + Freebie!

Do you have a Zingo game? There are several different versions, and this adaptation will work with all of them:

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Step 1: Turn over the tiles and write numbers on them (1-72 or however many tiles you have). 

Step 2: Place the tiles back in the columns, but upside down so the numbers are facing up.

Step 3: Slide the slider as you normally would. 

Step 4: When the numbers pop out, find the corresponding numbers on your list and provide the stimuli for the students. 

Step 5: After answering, students can mark off the corresponding number on the bingo board, which is included in the freebie. 

Now for your freebie:

The freebie includes: 
-5 bingo boards (plus a blank one)
-Lists for categories, describing, and words to put in a sentence: includes 72 different stimuli items

Grab your freebie here!

Do you think you'll use this adaptation?